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by Mark Foreman

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-374-32768-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Sitting in Grandpa’s diner and listening to him spin yarns about his tattoos always proves plenty entertaining for young Chloe—as it will for readers of this engaging US debut. His tale begins with the rope on his arm, which takes him back to his youth on the docks, and later encounters with a huge flying fish, a giant octopus, a mermaid and other rare sights. Stranded on a remote island, he falls in love with a dark-skinned resident even more decorated than he. When a rescue ship comes in, the two of them board it along with their baby, Coral (who is Chloe’s mother), settle in New York City, open their eatery and “here we are today, still cooking and fishing together after all these years.” Simple cartoon illustrations offer straight depictions of each comic turn in Grandpa’s tale, with images that later appear on his body, plus a photo album on the endpapers that includes snapshots of Chloe’s interracial parents and grandparents. As “tats” are appearing up and down family trees these days, this well-told tall tale might spur children to inquire about the ones their own relatives sport. (Picture book. 6-8)